June 27, 2008, I listened to my husband describe his pain to our doctor. “It felt like somebody jabbed a broom handle down my throat.” After thirty-eight hours and three surgeries to repair an aortic dissection, Charlie died. I was plunged into a new world of anguish and agony, disorientation, decisions, death duties, dealing with death departments of big companies, and daily survival. “You’ve got to build a whole new life,” my sister told me just five hours after my husband died. Five years later, I realized I had. Remember the Dragonflies is my story of discovery and recovery.
Bio of Kathy Rhodes
I am the author of Remember the Dragonflies: A Memoir of Grief and Healing. My essay, “An Open Letter,” which is a chapter in the memoir, appeared originally in The Best Creative Nonfiction, Vol. 3 (W.W. Norton) and was singled out for a review in The New Yorker. Order my book here.
My essay “Pushing Up the Sun” will be included in the upcoming anthology A Second Blooming, to be published by Mercer Press, 2017.
My collection of essays is Pink Butterbeans: Stories from the heart of a Southern woman. Order Pink Butterbeans here. My essay “The Wedding Hankie” was included in Chocolate for a Woman’s Soul II (Simon & Schuster); order here. I was contributing editor of two anthologies, and my works have been included in magazines, newspapers, and six anthologies.
I have blogged for nine years at First Draft: Laying Down the Words.
I am senior writer/editor at TurnStyle Writing, Editing & Publishing Solutions. I have taught workshops locally and presented at regional and state conferences, including:
– Alabama Writers Conclave (Birmingham, AL, 2010 and Huntsville, AL, 2012)
– Southern Literary Festival (Nashville TN)
– Writers Loft of Middle Tennessee State University (Murfreesboro TN)
– Creative Nonfiction at the Crossroads (Clarksdale, MS; director and presenter)
– Southern Festival of Books (Nashville TN; panelist in 2006, 2009, and 2014)
– Southern Kentucky Book Fest (Bowling Green KY)
– Mississippi Delta Literary Festival (Greenville MS)
– Council for the Written Word (Franklin TN)
I was publisher and editor of the former Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal, which had an eight-year run. I was also a board member of the Tennessee Writers Alliance and an officer of the former Williamson County Council for the Written Word.
My home now is in the Middle Tennessee hills near Nashville, and I love to think back to the home of my heart, the Mississippi Delta. I garden, kayak, write, read, and enjoy walks with my new buff merle cocker spaniel puppy born September 26, 2015, Heidi Deering.